How to legalize documents issued abroad for Ukraine?
Simply, "legalization" is a procedure of confirming the validity of documents in order to use them abroad.

In order to be able to submit documents in another country, you must give them first an additional legal force in their origin country, through the legalization procedure. This rule works in both directions. If you need to submit documents in Ukraine, they must first be legalized in the country of origin and vice versa.

What are the ways of legalizing documents in Ukraine and the criteria for choosing them? Let's figure it out.
The way of legalization of documents depends on the country of origin.
Regardless whether you brought foreign documents into Ukraine, or if you want to go to another country with Ukrainian documents, you have a couple of algorithms in case you are going somehow and somewhere to submit these docs officially. What are options depend on? Everything is very simple - it all depends on the country of origin/destination. According to this criterion, there are three ways of documents legalization.
Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Documents

In fact, there are a number of countries that have signed a bilateral international agreement on mutual recognition of documents with Ukraine, thus depriving their citizens of the need for legalization if the documents travel from one of the contracting countries to another.
Here is a list of these countries:
- Azerbaijan
- Belarus
- Bulgaria
- Armenia
- Georgia (does not apply to the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia and the former autonomous region of South Ossetia)
- Estonia
- Kazakhstan
- The Kyrgyz Republic
- Kosovo *
- Latvia
- Lithuania
- Macedonia
- Mongolia
- Poland
- Republic of Moldova
- Russia
- Romania
- Serbia
- Tajikistan
- Hungary
- Uzbekistan
- Czech Republic
If you got documents from one of these countries - you are lucky. Further reading - for your consideration. Take the originals, make a translation, and certify the translator's signature notarially (the translation is usually sewn to the original) and all state authorities, institutions and enterprises have to accept such documents.

If the destination country doesn't have an Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Documents with Ukraine but is a party in the Hague Convention of 1961, then for documents legalization the stamp of the Apostille is used.
The Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine have the right to put an apostille on documents issued in Ukraine for which the legalization is necessary.

The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine is authorized to put the Apostille on official documents related to the sphere of education and science.
The Ministry of Justice places Apostille on documents issued by the justice and courts, as well as on documents drawn up by notaries of Ukraine.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs - on all other types of documents.
Here is a list of these countries:
- Australia
- Austria
- Albania
- Andorra
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Argentina
- Bahamas
- Barbados
- Bahrain
- Belize
- Belgium
- Bolivia (docs issued after 03.30.2018)
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Botswana
- Brazil
- Brunei
- Burundi
- Vanuatu
- Venezuela
- Guatemala (docs issued after 18.09.2017)
- Honduras
- Grenada
- Denmark (does not apply to Greenland and Faroe Islands)
- Dominica
- The Dominican Republic
- Ecuador
- El Salvador
- Israel
- India
- Ireland
- Iceland
- Spain
- Italy
- Cape Verde
- People's Republic of China (applies only to Hong Kong and Macao)
- Cyprus
- Colombia
- Costa Rica
- Lesotho
- Liberia
- Liechtenstein
- Luxemburg
- Mauritius
- Malawi
- Malta
- Morocco
- Marshall Islands
- Mexico
- Monaco
- Namibia
- the Netherlands
- Nicaragua
- Germany
- Niue
- New Zealand (not applicable to Tokelau)
- Norway
- Oman
- Cook Islands
- Panama
- South Africa (South Africa)
- Paraguay
- Peru
- Portugal
- Republic of Korea
- San Marino
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Swaziland
- Samoa
- Seychelles
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Slovakia
- Slovenia
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (not applicable to countries that have left the United Kingdom and have not signed the Convention)
- United States
- Suriname
- Tonga
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Tunisia (docs issued after 07/05/2018)
- Turkey
- Uruguay
- Fiji
- Finland
- France
- Croatia
- Chile
- Montenegro
- Switzerland
- Sweden
- Japan
If you brought into Ukraine the documents from listed above countries and going to submit it in Ukraine, the stamp "Apostille" should be put already on, and then the procedure is equal to paragraph 1. - translation, notary certification of the translator's signature, and all documents are ready for submission on the territory of Ukraine.
Here is how an apostille looks like
Consular legalization

For other countries that did not become parties in the Hague Convention of 1961 for documents legalization there is a procedure of consular legalization. The procedure is established by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 and other international agreements.

This is probably the most complicated procedure, but even it is not something incredible.

How it works. First, it is necessary to comply legalization in the country of documents origin, to put on docs the stamps of the relevant authority institution (in different countries differently for different documents, but normally, it is the Ministry of Justice or foreign affairs), and then in Ukraine, it is necessary to put the seals of the consulate of these countries on docs. This is a first part of "full version" legalization procedure.

In our practice, we have used the so-called "simplified" consular legalization and it was quite successful. From the original docs in the country of origin, a notarial copy was made. This copy went to Ukraine, and the consulate of the country of origin od docs, via its consular channels, sent a request to the judicial authorities of the country of origin to confirm the powerty, the signature and the seal of the notary, who entrusted the copy. Upon received receipt of confirmation, the Consulate in Ukraine places a stamp on docs that prove validity. For example, receiving the receipt on consul's request to Canada took 3 business days, and placing a confirmation stamp itself took 10 minutes and held our presence.

And the last step (for full and simplified versions of consular legalization) is the seal of the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, which certifies the powers and signature of the consul. Under the expedited procedure (with double fee), this stage can be completed in one working day. Normally (without double fee) this procedure takes 3-5 business days.
Here is how it looks like
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